I’ve officially been here a month, and there is still so much to learn as an expat in London. So as I discover more lessons, I will add them to the list. You may notice that there are a lot of lessons on budgeting – at the ripe age of 22 I am finally experiencing what it’s truly like to be broke once you pay rent. Not long until I start my job!
You really have to look both ways … Trust the green man.
You won’t have AC to deal with the summer heat. Buy a fan.
The Tube is always hot. Buy a handheld fan.
When you can’t make your own lunch, Sainsbury and Tesco to-go meals will save your wallet but not your waistline.
At fast food restaurants, always say Take-Away over Eat-In. It can save you at least a pound and you just get a paper bag instead of a tray.
Top expenses in order: Rent, Food, Alcohol
Paycheques only come once a month. You best be careful.
If you want to live in central or trendy London boroughs, say goodbye to your dream of lots of travel.
You need extra moisturizing shampoo and a tangle teaser brush, the shower water here is crap.
Take your goddam multivitamins everyday.
As much as you hate it, Primark will become your go-to shopping spot. You can’t afford to be an ethical or fancy shopper.
Lift your feet while you walk or you will trip often (2 times per hour on average).
Don’t give your real number to strangers on the street.
No matter how much of a nice stereotypical Canadian you are, you will get road rage on the sidewalks. STEP ASIDE TOURISTS.
You better have your Oyster Card ready when you get to the gates at the Tube.
A 7 day travel pass will save you a great deal of money on daily transport.
You will trust CityMapper with your life. Google Maps, you are no longer needed.
The dream of being a high heel wearing fashionista in the city is unattainable. Wear sneakers and bring your heels in a bag.
ALWAYS keep hand sanitizer in your purse.
A Canadian accent can be as exciting to Brits as their accent is to you.
The likelihood of swiping your way through all of London’s bachelors on Tinder is slim. Enjoy feeling like you are on an endless season of the Bachelorette.
Everybody uses dating Apps – they are a super common way to meet guys.
Facebook groups for London newbies are a great way to make friends – particularly London New Girl.
Even if you feel confident with how your interviews are going, have a backup plan. Sign up with multiple recruiters.
Everyone who moves here embarrasses themselves one way or another.
The BIGGEST Lesson: I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
The list will get bigger because Lord knows I haven’t mastered this city yet!